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#1 eoteceramics

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 07:46 AM

Hi, I invested in a second hand pugmill and have just gotten around to using it. Question is do people

usually dry out the reclaimed clay a bit first ? Because I spent hours putting it through over and over, and now I feel

a bit foolish because it occurred to me that it was probably a bit wet to put through. It had been in a bucket immersed in

water for a good while. I've spread it out now onto canvas and brought it inside the house to dry a bit. Can anyone tell me how wet/dry it

should before I try again? Thanks 😞

#2 clay lover

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:10 AM

My experiences with my newish pug mill is that slop is the hardest to deal with. The manufacturere says bone dry is the easiest to do, dump it in, use the PM to grind it small, then add water. I ended up putting that mess thru 3 times and waiting over night between mixes. I think I did not realize how much water it took to rehydrate the chamber full of bone dry. If I could figure that approach out better it would be nice to just let the scraps dry, less weight and volume to deal with.

I have the best luck with some sort of leather hard and adding small bits of water as it mixes along. I am putting the day's sraps in the PM, sealing it up between additions, and when it is full adding water if needed and pugging it through. Not collecting bucket of dry or slop.

Hope to hear from other on this.

#3 eoteceramics

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:04 AM

It never even occurred to me that bone dry clay could be put through, would love to hear from others too as to the best way. Thanks for your reply

#4 OffCenter

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:44 PM

It never even occurred to me that bone dry clay could be put through, would love to hear from others too as to the best way. Thanks for your reply


You're basically using a pugmill as a clay mixer but any good pugmill should take dry clay with water, slurry, soggy clay. The hardest part is getting the clay to move when it is too wet, not when it is too dry.

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#5 Benzine

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:13 PM


It never even occurred to me that bone dry clay could be put through, would love to hear from others too as to the best way. Thanks for your reply


You're basically using a pugmill as a clay mixer but any good pugmill should take dry clay with water, slurry, soggy clay. The hardest part is getting the clay to move when it is too wet, not when it is too dry.

Jim


No doubt there. I actually cleaned the one, at one of my previous schools, by getting the last bit of workable clay out, then leaving all the openings uncovered. Then, I just switched it on, and it pushed out all the bone dry crumbs. It was pretty easy clean up, after that.
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#6 GEP

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:25 PM

How I like to use the pugmill ... when my slop bucket is full, I scoop out the slop onto plaster bats. The bats are about 9x12 inches, I make them in foil cake pans. I let the slop dry out until it is the consistency of throwing clay. Then I slice it into chunks and put it through the pugmill, basically just to homogenize and de-air the clay.

Most pugmills can handle wet, dry, leatherhard clay, and water, but I find it is too much of a guessing game to get the amount the water right inside the pugmill. And way too messy. I'd rather get the moisture level right beforehand, then just use the pugmill as a "wedge-o-matic."

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#7 eoteceramics

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 05:49 AM

Thanks for replies, I'm going to try getting it to throwing consistency first , I think that sounds like less hassle 😊

#8 perkolator

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:53 PM

i don't have a pugger, but know a few people who rely on them for reclaim. sometimes they buy the clay body they're working with in dry form (like a 50# bag of it) or even just a sack of kaolin/grolleg - then you can just add dry to your wet slop inside the pugger to bring it to usable consistency.

i've also seen some people take bone dry clay and mulch it up in the pugger until it's relatively powderized - then they keep this in a separate barrel and add some to sloppy reclaim inside the pugger to get the right consistency - but sometimes there may be chunks that didn't get broken down enough prior -- easily solved by letting clay equalize in bags, then re-pug.

personally, i would probably keep multiple 5-gal buckets of reclaim and let them dry out (in sequence) either in the bucket or in a pillow case or even plaster bats - then pug when it's closer to usable consistency. good luck

#9 neilestrick

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:27 PM

Pug mills are not made to be mixers. They are meant to de-air and extrude. You get a little bit of mixing action during the process, but to really mix clay well it needs to mix for a much longer amount of time than it will spend in a pugger. Get it as close to right as possible before pugging it.
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